Posted by Jeff Scott on July 29, 2010
One of my current research projects is to define how EA teams capture and express business strategy. Early in the process I am finding a lot of variation in how organizations articulate strategy. In my preliminary interviews I have heard three basic definitions of strategy:
- Strategy as goal articulation. Business executives often use the terms strategy, goal, and objective interchangeably. For example - Goal: “Our strategy is to become a significant player the widget market.” Or objective: “Our strategy is to become the largest supplier of widgets in the southeast.”
- Strategy as the approach to a goal. For example: “We will grow our share of the widget market organically by adding hard-to-replicate proprietary add-ons to our current slate of widgets as well as to widgets from non-proprietary sources.” This definition aligns pretty well with the business motivation model strategy definition developed by the Business Rules Group and accepted as an OMG standard. You can see their model here: http://www.businessrulesgroup.org/bmm.shtml.
- Strategy as the entire strategic landscape: vision, goal, approach, objective, and initiative. For example: “Our strategy is to execute six basic cross-organizational initiatives (spelled out in detail) that support our goal to become a major player in the widget market. Each initiative will drive expansion in a different customer segment to help us grow to be the largest supplier of widgets in the southeast. We will encourage product innovation to create proprietary widget add-ons to our current products that are hard to replicate. These add-ons will create long-term customer lock-in.”
How do you define business strategy? How do you articulate it? How do you capture it? How do you use it? I would love to hear your thoughts on illuminating business strategy.
As part of this research, Forrester is conducting a survey on how IT organizations align their own strategies with those of the business. You can participate in the survey here: http://www.forrester.com/june2010strategysurvey.